‘For each covid case detected in India, 30 were missed or undetected’

News Network
July 31, 2021

For every single Covid-19 case reported in India, there were 30 cases that remained undetected or were missed, according to an analysis of ICMR's fourth sero-survey by independent epidemiologist Dr Chandrakant Lahariya.

The public health expert shared his analysis on Twitter in which he showed for every reported Covid-19 case in India, how many cases were missed.

He, however, clarified that it does not mean this was deliberate but simply reflects the performance of the disease surveillance system and the response to pandemic in the state in tackling the cases.

"Many cases are asymptomatic so they are likely to go unreported. If contact tracing is done well, even asymptomatic cases can also be reported. This has been reflected in the fact that a few states have done better than others as they can report on more cases as compared to other states," Lahariya said.

The Union health ministry on Wednesday shared the findings of the fourth round of national serosurvey conducted by ICMR across 70 districts of India.

While Madhya Pradesh leads the chart with 79 per cent seroprevalence, Kerala is at the lowest with 44.4 per cent followed by Assam with 50.3 per cent and Maharashtra with 58 per cent.

For every laboratory confirmed Covid-19 cases in India, the number of unreported or undetected cases ranged from 6 to 98, according to the analysis.

Among states and union territories, the analysis by Lahariya showed that Uttar Pradesh missed the highest number of cases. With every case reported in that state, 98 cases were missed or remained undetected.

The under-counting factor was lowest for Kerala at 6 which means for every case reported six cases were missed, according to the analysis.

The under-counting factor for India was 30 which means for every case reported 30 cases were missed, according to the analysis.

For Madhya Pradesh, the under-counting factor was 83 - highest after Uttar Pradesh followed by Jharkhand at 63, Rajasthan at 62, Gujarat at 61 and Bihar at 59.

Speaking about the analysis, Lahariya said, "What we need to remember is that sampling of sero survey has been done in a scientific manner from 21 states and UTs so we know India has 67.6 per cent seropositivity at national level which is undisputed and the government says it so this essentially means there are 90-95 crore people in India who are sero-positive and a majority after natural infection. So they will come in the same proportion from states through which we have arrived at this conclusion."

In immunology, seroconversion is the development of specific antibodies in the blood serum as a result of infection or immunization.

However, Lahariya said that a state and district specific survey will provide a more accurate picture and the government should urgently plan such a survey.

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News Network
September 25,2021

United Nations, Sep 25: Pakistan, where terrorists enjoy free pass, is an "arsonist" disguising itself as a "fire-fighter", and the entire world has suffered because of its policies as the country nurtures terrorists in its backyard, India has said in a blistering retort after Prime Minister Imran Khan raked up the issue of Kashmir in his address to the UN General Assembly.

"We exercise our Right of Reply to one more attempt by the leader of Pakistan to tarnish the image of this august Forum by bringing in matters internal to my country, and going so far as to spew falsehoods on the world stage,” First Secretary Sneha Dubey said in the UN General Assembly on Friday.

"While such statements deserve our collective contempt and sympathy for the mindset of the person who utters falsehood repeatedly, I am taking the floor to set the record straight,” the young Indian diplomat said, slamming the Pakistani leader for raking up the Kashmir issue in his address to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly.

"We keep hearing that Pakistan is a 'victim of terrorism'. This is the country that is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter. Pakistan nurtures terrorists in their backyard in the hope that they will only harm their neighbours. Our region, and in fact the entire world, has suffered because of their policies. On the other hand, they are trying to cover up sectarian violence in their country as acts of terror," Dubey said.

Khan in his address had spoken about the August 5, 2019 decision of the Indian government on the abrogation of Article 370 as well as the death of pro-Pakistan separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani.

In the Right of Reply, Dubey strongly reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh "were, are and will always be an integral and inalienable part of India. This includes the areas that are under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”

Khan and other Pakistani leaders and diplomats have consistently raked up the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and other internal matters of India in their addresses to the UN General Assembly and other forums of the world organisation.

Pakistan’s attempts to internationalise the Kashmir issue have gained no traction from the international community and the Member States, who maintain that Kashmir is a bilateral matter between the two countries.

Dubey said it is regrettable that this is not the first time the leader of Pakistan has "misused" platforms provided by the UN to "propagate false and malicious propaganda against my country, and seeking in vain to divert the world’s attention from the sad state of his country where terrorists enjoy free pass while the lives of ordinary people, especially those belonging to the minority communities, are turned upside down."

With the international community marking this month the solemn occasion of the 20th anniversary of the “dastardly” 9/11 terror attacks, Dubey said the world has not forgotten that the "mastermind behind that dastardly event, Osama Bin Laden, got shelter in Pakistan. Even today, Pakistan leadership glorify him as a 'martyr'."

"Regrettably, even today we heard the leader of Pakistan trying to justify acts of terror. Such defence of terrorism is unacceptable in the modern world."

Categorically emphasising India’s position, Dubey said New Delhi desires normal relations "with all our neighbours, including Pakistan." However, it is for Islamabad to work sincerely towards creating a conducive atmosphere, including by taking credible, verifiable and irreversible actions to not allow any territory under its control to be used for cross border terrorism against India in any manner.

Asserting that the Member States are aware that Pakistan has an established history and policy of harbouring, aiding and actively supporting terrorists, Dubey said the country has been globally recognised as one openly supporting, training, financing and arming terrorists as a matter of State policy. "It holds the ignoble record of hosting the largest number of terrorists proscribed by the UN Security Council."

"This is also the country that still holds the despicable record in our region of having executed a religious and cultural genocide against the people of what is now Bangladesh. As we mark the 50th anniversary this year of that horrid event in history, there is not even an acknowledgement, much less accountability,” the Indian diplomat said.

Highlighting that minorities in Pakistan - the Sikhs, Hindus, Christians - live in constant fear and state-sponsored suppression of their rights, he said, "this is a regime where anti-Semitism is normalised by its leadership and even justified.

"Dissenting voices are muzzled daily, and enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings are well documented."

Dubey said that, unlike Pakistan, India is a pluralistic democracy with a substantial population of minorities who have gone on to hold the highest offices in the country including as President, Prime Minister, Chief Justices and Chiefs of Army Staff. India is also a country with free media and an independent judiciary that keeps a watch and protects our Constitution.

"Pluralism is a concept which is very difficult to understand for Pakistan which constitutionally prohibits its minorities from aspiring for high offices of the State. The least they could do is introspect before exposing themselves to ridicule on the world stage," the Indian diplomat said.

In his nearly 25-minute long address to the UN General Debate on Friday, Khan said sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon the resolution of the Kashmir issue.

He said Pakistan desires "peace" with India, as with all its neighbours. "But sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir" issue, in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, he said.

He also called on the UN General Assembly to "demand" that Geelani’s mortal remains be allowed to be buried in the "cemetery of martyrs" with the appropriate Islamic rites.

On Afghanistan, Khan said, "for some reason, Pakistan has been blamed for the turn of events, by politicians in the United States and some politicians in Europe.

"From this platform, I want them all to know, the country that suffered the most, apart from Afghanistan, was Pakistan, when we joined the US War on Terror after 9/11."

"The only reason we suffered so much was because we became an ally of the US - of the Coalition - in the war in Afghanistan. There were attacks being conducted from the Afghan soil into Pakistan. At least there should have been a word of appreciation. But rather than appreciation, imagine how we feel when we are blamed for the turn of events in Afghanistan,” he said.

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News Network
September 22,2021

Bengaluru, Sept 22: Opposition Leader Siddaramaiah on Wednesday said the BJP government in the state has indulged in a loot by giving government land to RSS-run Chanakya University at a throwaway price.

"The land measuring 116 acres was acquired at a cost of around Rs 170 crore. The market value is around Rs 400 crore, but the government has given it to RSS-run Chanakya University for Rs 50 crore. This is a loot that the government has indulged in," he told reporters in a press conference.

Also, there are no provisions under which the government land could be given to a private university, Siddaramaiah said. "Therefore, the land given to Chanakya University is illegal," he said.

Siddaramaiah asked the government to immediately withdraw the order of giving Karnataka Industries Area Development land to Chanakya University.

The government Tuesday had passed the bill amidst chaos after it was tabled by Higher Education Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan in the assembly to allow Chanakya University to be set up in 116 acres in the Aerospace Park near Devanahalli.

If the government does not act, the party would take legal action to seek withdrawal of land granted for the setting up of Chanakya University.

He also alleged that the Speaker Vishveshwar Heggade Kageri did not allow a debate in the assembly over the matter and the bill was passed hurriedly.

"What is the reason for passing the bill hurriedly. Is the government under RSS pressure," he questioned. It also amounts to favoritism, he added.

Siddaramaiah also flayed the Speaker for taking side of the government when it is required of him to be neutral sitting in a chair sanctified by the Indian Constitution. "His conduct in the assembly yesterday was not impartial," he added.

Kageri had said that there is a need to encourage institutions that promote Indian cultural values in an era where education is highly westernised.

Siddaramaiah alleged that the government is making efforts to impart Manuvadi education to children with an intention of "reestablishing" caste hierarchy as per Manuvad system.

Yesterday, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai justified the allocation of land to Chanakya University since similar concessions were given to industries to create jobs.

The government will also give concessions to organisations who give good education to the children by keeping their future in mind, he said.

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News Network
September 17,2021

In the wake of abduction of an Indian citizen by unknown miscreants in the capital city of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi has been in touch with the new Taliban government in Kabul.

“We are in touch with all concerned. We have seen reports about local authorities undertaking investigations into this matter. We will continue to monitor the situation," Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), told journalists in New Delhi.

Bansri Lal Arendeh was purportedly kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul on Tuesday.

Bagchi said that he was “given to understand” that Arendeh was a citizen of India but the government was in the process of checking his citizenship status. Arendeh’s family lives at Faridabad in Haryana. He has been engaged in business in Kabul for the last two decades.

The Taliban has announced a government in Kabul after taking over Afghanistan through a military offensive across the country – taking advantage of the withdrawal of troops by the United States and its NATO allies. New Delhi’s envoy to Doha, Deepak Mittal, had a meeting with Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai, the head of the Taliban’s political office in the capital of Qatar, on August 31. It was New Delhi’s first publicly-acknowledged contact with the Taliban in 22 years.

New Delhi did not make it clear if it would recognize the new Taliban Government in Kabul, but the kidnapping of Arendeh apparently prompted it to acknowledge that it was in touch with the authorities in the capital of Afghanistan.

Though India could evacuate most of its citizens willing to leave Afghanistan, some are still left in the country. "Till now operations at Kabul airport is not resumed, it is difficult to say how to bring them back. Our focus is that operations at Kabul airport resume. Then, it will be easier for us to bring back the people," Bagchi said.

New Delhi had evacuated its envoy to Kabul, Rudrendra Tandon, and 175 other officials posted in the Embassy of India in Kabul on August 17. 

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